How to clean up regret/resentment
- Always do it face to face, whenever possible. Resolving these issues is not recommended over the phone, but it's a better idea than writing a letter, which is almost never a good move, unless you follow a very specific format.
- Don't go back and clean up old, outdated problems as it will just create new ones. Stick to recent history and what pops up from now on.
- Some problems are so severe that they will require third party mediation.
- Arrange for this resolution to happen in a safe place (ie, not in a crowded restaurant or other highly public, scrutinized place).
- These things require an open timeframe.
- It's not over until the other person says so.
- Don't go into this looking for an apology — This isn't about making them pay (specifically for clearing up a Resentment).
- Don't have an expected outcome.
- All of this is about forgiveness.
- Make sure you've identified your role in all of this, whether you're harboring resentment or regret. Everyone plays their part.
If you're dealing with someone who's no longer around (ie, dead), find an environment where you feel them (eg, graveyard) and find some catharsis (either crying or laughter) while having a conversation to them out loud. It makes it more real to the brain when it's out loud.
Don't play the blame game. It only leads to more problems, usually arising from one of three: there's something wrong with me (self-deprecation), there's something wrong with you (accusation), or there's something wrong with it (I don't have a fancy word for that one, and I forget what it specifically was, as I didn't annotate it, but I think it refers to the situation or possibly society at large).
If you're clearing up an issue with an unknown party (for instance, having stolen random bikes), create an act of forgiveness. Dr. Riekeman mentioned how even God had to produce an act of forgiveness by offering his son for our sins, and if even God needs an act of forgiveness, we most likely do, too. So in the case of getting over having stolen bikes, go donate some bikes to underprivileged kids or something. His example, not mine.
Lastly, that letter. Some author refers to it as the "love letter", but that wasn't really explained. Actually, it's a good idea to write even if you don't send it, because it gives you a chance to frame your ideas before you go make an ass of yourself impromptu. So, keeping in mind your role in all that transpired, outline the following (in order):
* Hopes & Desires
* Wishes for the Future
* Love & Acknowledgment
Each one leads to the next, and should be explained thoroughly. When explaining verbally, be sure to ask if you can speak freely without interruption, to be sure you get out the whole truth, rather than having your audience just hear the part about how you're angry. That tends to start a downward spiral of negativity and sparks a combative demeanor.
These are things that I know I need to work on, and I'm going to battle my way from a position outside of integrity to get back on track. Because really, there are pros and cons and uphill battles on both sides of the chart, leading to mediocrity or excellence both. And to be honest, my life kind of sucks when I just lie in bed and watch the ceiling fan spin because I want to withdraw into isolation rather than deal with people and problems.
Ooh! I almost forgot: The Dance.
Imagine something you're not proud of as your hand in front of your face. Can't see much beyond it can you? A lot of people think that goes away with time, but it doesn't really. Your hand just moves to about arm's length or a bit farther. And as you want to function in life you have to dance around a bit to be able to see around what you're not proud of or avoid thinking about it, etc. And I would say most people have more than one skeleton in their closet, so it's not just one hand blocking them... it's like those damn mop-brushes when you drive through a carwash. Dancing around those bastards takes a lot of energy, and explains why a lot of people get up in the morning and spend the rest of their day thinking about when they get to go back to sleep. If you're going to spend all your waking time not thinking about so many things, why not just be unconscious?